“I don’t believe in cancel culture,” Acho, 30, said on the Wednesday, March 10, episode of A Late Show With Stephen Colbert. “I do believe in accountability. I think right now he is taking accountability for his actions. For every action there is an equal and opposite reacts and that can be a law of Newton or that can just be basic common sense. [Harrison] had an action and he is currently dealing with the reaction from that.”
The former NFL linebacker is taking over as host for season 25’s After the Final Rose special on Monday, March 15, after Harrison, 49, temporarily stepped back following a controversial interview in which he defended contestant Rachael Kirkconnell’s past racist actions.
Although Acho acknowledged that the Texas native shouldn’t be “canceled” for his remarks, the former athlete isn’t convinced that the Bachelor Nation host is the best fit for the franchise moving forward.
“Should he return to that role? You have to decide what’s in the best interests of Chris Harrison? What’s in the best interest of the show and the executive producers, but also, what’s in the best interest of the cast?” he explained. “They’re trying to commit to diversity, they had their first Black bachelor, what’s in the best interest of all three of those primary parties at play and make the decision that serves the most good.”
For now, Acho is focused on his “very, very, very simple” mission for helming the After the Final Rose special. “Allow my white brothers and sisters who have watched the show and fell in love with Matt’s story to understand that Matt’s love story and his journey of love is different than other journeys of love, particularly because of his complexion and his skin color,” he said while appearing on Good Morning America on Wednesday.
Last month, Harrison made headlines when he spoke with former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay about Kirkconnell’s past, calling for “compassion” after the graphic designer, 24, came under fire for attending a plantation-themed event in 2018 and also “liking” photos with a Confederate flag in the background.
The former Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? host has since apologized via Instagram twice for his “ignorance” in addition taking a temporary break from his hosting duties. Harrison again owned his actions during an appearance on Good Morning America on March 4.
“I am saddened and shocked at how insensitive I was in that interview with Rachel Lindsay. I can’t believe I didn’t speak against antebellum parties, what they stand for,” the Perfect Letter author said at the time. “I didn’t say it then and I want to say it now: those parties are not OK, past, present, future. And I didn’t speak from my heart. And that is to say that I stand against all forms of racism, and I am deeply sorry to Rachel Lindsay and to the Black community.”
Following his TV apology, Lindsay, 35, told Extra that she accepts Harrison’s apology, telling Billy Bush, “I think it’s important for me to say that because I haven’t really talked about, you know, Chris and the statement because I’m not trying to make this a Chris vs. Rachel.”